92L Poised to Develop in Gulf of Mexico; Erin Struggling in Far Eastern Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on August 16, 2013

Tropical wave 92L crossed over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula overnight, and the center of the disturbance is now located in the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Satellite loops show that 92L has a well-developed surface circulation, but there are no heavy thunderstorms near the center. A moderate-sized region of heavy thunderstorms does lie to the northeast and east of the center, over Cancun, Cozumel, and southwards to Belize. An upper-level low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico is pumping dry air into 92L, slowing development. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over the the wave, which should allow slow development today. The hurricane hunter flight scheduled for today has been cancelled.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of 92L taken at 1:30 pm EDT Friday August 16, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Forecast for 92L
The 12Z Friday SHIPS model forecast predicts that 92L will remain in an area of low to moderate wind shear through Saturday, and ocean temperatures will be a favorable 29 - 30°C. The topography of the Southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche can aid in getting a storm spinning more readily, as well. Given these favorable conditions for intensification, 92L should be able to become a tropical depression by Saturday, and a tropical storm by Sunday. A trough of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico will dip down by Sunday over the Central Gulf of Mexico, increasing the wind shear to a high 20 - 30 knots just to the north of 92L. This trough may also be able to pull the storm northwestwards to a landfall in Texas on Monday or Tuesday, as the 00Z Friday runs of UKMET and NAVGEM model predict. If 92L does follow this more northwesterly path, intensification into a strong tropical storm would be difficult, due to the high wind shear. An alternate scenario is presented by our two top-performing models, the European and GFS. They predict that 92L will take a nearly due west track, resulting in a landfall south of Tampico, Mexico on Monday. The storm would have more of an opportunity to strengthen in this scenario, since wind shear would be lower. Either scenario is reasonable, and residents of the Mexican and Texas Gulf Coast should anticipate the possibility of a tropical storm hitting the coast as early as Sunday night. Regardless of 92L's track, a flow of moist tropical air along the storm's eastern flank will form an atmospheric river of moisture that will bring a wide swath of 4+ inches of rain to the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle over the next few days. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92L a 50% of developing by Sunday, and a 60% chance of developing by Wednesday. I put these odds higher, at 70% and 80%, respectively.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Depression Erin taken at 10:30 am EDT Friday August 16, 2013. At the time, Erin had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Storm Erin
Tropical Storm Erin is over the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa, and continues west-northwest at 15 mph. Erin is small and weak and has lost nearly all of its heavy thunderstorms, as seen on satellite loops. This is probably due, in part, to the fact the storm is over waters of 25.5 - 26°C, which is a marginal temperature for tropical cyclones. Erin is also having trouble with dry air from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and the storm's west-northwest motion is beginning to cut Erin off from a moist source of air to its south--the semi-permanent band of tropical thunderstorms called the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.) The latest 00Z runs of the major global computer models, except for the GFS, call for Erin to dissipate by early next week. Given Erin's struggles today, I expect the storm will be dead by Sunday.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Why do that, when you can check this blog for close accurate information? We're the #1 source, everyone else is secondary. ;)

LOL, I figured that was a good answer for someone who just wants to "know" what's happening in the tropics.
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Quoting 676. Grothar:
I wouldn't focus too much attention on the low moving west for the time being as I pointed out yesterday. Just wait a few more hours.





Does this loop maybe give a hint of the subject of your cryptic musings, Sir Gro?
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Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z NAM indicates TS strength winds as it approaches Louisiana.



I see it is also looking better this afternoon.



And also see that Erin was downgraded to a TD and we have a new TS in the CPAC named Pewa. Good times if you like to track storms.


Still appears that 92L is really disorganized. It does look like it's making a turn to the west, which might give it a chance to survive. I would be totally amazed to see it as a TS in LA though.
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Quoting 681. sar2401:

Two tropical waves. Have you checked the main tropical weather page here?
Why do that, when you can check this blog for close accurate information? We're the #1 source, everyone else is secondary. ;)
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Quoting 678. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z NAM indicates TS strength winds as it approaches Louisiana.



I see it is also looking better this afternoon.



And also see that Erin was downgraded to a TD and we have a new TS in the CPAC named Pewa. Good times if you like to track storms.



I make a motion to put NAM in timeout for 120 hours at which time we can return to our normally scheduled program :)
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12z ECMWF likes the TW about to emerge off the coast of Africa.

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I think 92L could hook into the BOC & southern Mexico - got some draw in that direction, but not sure whether she will resist or not. If she fights it off, the UL winds may indeed propel her into Texas. In that case, I will suggest Corpus Christi.

I think the front coming through Texas is a punk with little going for it but maybe some (needed) rain. The slower 92L takes crossing the GOM, the more likely I think she will enter Texas standing up rather than low, SW, & tail between her legs. If she rushes across, I think wind shear will mess her up badly, especially as she nears land, perhaps in far south TX (in that case). IMO, if a trek over the WC GOM is her route, I suggest a bout of intensification, followed by a lull due to wind shear, then another bout of reintensifying as she nears landfall.

Btw, if she hits early & low in S TX, she may rain on No. Mex / So. TX. If she hits Corpus Christi, I think she will pick up moisture from the front & rain on Central Texas all the way to LA, etc. as she sweeps eastward.
Thoughts? Comments?
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683. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


a little crowded near the southern Japan Islands..
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Quoting 677. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Close is subjective. =)

I wouldn't necessarily say a naked swirl with convection removed well northeast of it is close to becoming a tropical depression. That's just me though.

This may be the system Texans have been wanting. Relatively weak...but with a lot of rain, mainly on its east side.




Unless it gets too 70mph then gos poof this like don did and gives txs no rain at all
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Quoting weatherman994:
Whats going on in the tropics.

Two tropical waves. Have you checked the main tropical weather page here?
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Quoting 677. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Close is subjective. =)

I wouldn't necessarily say a naked swirl with convection removed well northeast of it is close to becoming a tropical depression. That's just me though.

This may be the system Texans have been wanting. Relatively weak...but with a lot of rain, mainly on its east side.

92L is a good candidate for a subtropical storm. We can get those in the GOM from time to time.
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Interlay at 45Lng 11.5Lat possible 08/13/18. Buoy Shp rpt rqst 0150978 if psble.


Found this on some site I got into regarding the tropics??? Had some other non coherent information I could not understand at all.
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12z NAM indicates TS strength winds as it approaches Louisiana.



I see it is also looking better this afternoon.



And also see that Erin was downgraded to a TD and we have a new TS in the CPAC named Pewa. Good times if you like to track storms.

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Quoting 667. Tazmanian:




Yes it is

Close is subjective. =)

I wouldn't necessarily say a naked swirl with convection removed well northeast of it is close to becoming a tropical depression. That's just me though.

This may be the system Texans have been wanting. Relatively weak...but with a lot of rain, mainly on its east side.

^ And yes, I do see this becoming Fernand. May become a mid-grade tropical storm.

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I wouldn't focus too much attention on the low moving west for the time being as I pointed out yesterday. Just wait a few more hours.

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Quoting 672. CybrTeddy:
We're going to have to watch the African wave that's emerging off the coast of Africa for development later down the road. Although there's nothing to say about it right now (other than it's quite large), it's a threat to develop into a tropical cyclone if one believes the GFS once it reaches a less stable environment as the MJO comes around in about 10 days. We're going to have a long time to watch it.


Also 12z ECMWF is with it.
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Quoting 657. wxchaser97:

Hopefully you, and all of Texas, get that much needed rain.
Also, love firefighting too, plan to become one myself. Already starting up with an explorer program.



That's a better organized circulation than I remember seeing last night... :/
I hate when I am busy for a while and stuff in the tropics change.


Good job dude. A few friends of mine growing up did the explorer program as well. Its a really good way to see what its all about and get some hands on and gives you an edge over folks who just try to jump in. If you haven't done so already, try to go ride along with some of the firefighters in your city. Always good to get some face time and get to know the crew.
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Quoting 672. CybrTeddy:
We're going to have to watch the African wave that's emerging off the coast of Africa for development later down the road. Although there's nothing to say about it right now (other than it's quite large), it's a threat to develop into a tropical cyclone if one believes the GFS once it reaches a less stable environment as the MJO comes around in about 10 days. We're going to have a long time to watch it.

no no spin in no storm coming
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We're going to have to watch the African wave that's emerging off the coast of Africa for development later down the road. Although there's nothing to say about it right now (other than it's quite large), it's a threat to develop into a tropical cyclone if one believes the GFS once it reaches a less stable environment as the MJO comes around in about 10 days. We're going to have a long time to watch it.
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92L may very well be classified in the next day or so. It already has the circulation. All it needs is convection, and we're off. Conditions appear favorable for it to do that as well - low shear, hot GOM waters, and more than enough moisture (might be some issues to the SW, but there is some convection breaking through the dry air there right now. Not enough to kill it though, given how much moisture there is everywhere else).
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670. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Advisories for 98W and 99W

Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #7
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 13
3:00 AM JST August 17 2013
===================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression South Of Ishigaki Island

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1000 hPa) located at 22.0N 124.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving south southeast slowly.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 22.3N 125.9E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) south of Miyako Islands

Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #1
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 14
3:00 AM JST August 17 2013
===================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression Southwest Minami Daito

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1000 hPa) located at 25.2N 130.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving west northwest at 9 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 25.9N 128.5E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) Near Okinawa
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yes it is what am i arguing about i forgot
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invest 92L will never be a tropical storm or a huuricane at all.
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Quoting 658. interpreter:

No it's not.




Yes it is
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Quoting 618. Rmadillo:


actually the ULL is drifting over the lower level circulation, which will help to enhance convection near the center

The ULL is forecast to weaken by some of the models which will have it out of the way.
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Quoting 655. Relix:


Don't worry Kman, I got your back with this wave :P


:-)
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649. Tropicsweatherpr 7:23 PM GMT on August 16, 2013

I think the lack of deep convection is more the issue now than attachment to the ITCZ

651. Drakoen 7:24 PM GMT on August 16, 2013

We've seen the models follow development in the past so the lack of model support is not critical in my view. Dry air is out there but on the plus side shear is virtually non existent, SST is more than high enough and it has the ITCZ to draw moisture from as seen in the imagery with a band of convection streaming in from the SW on the South side of the circulation. The NHC is probably wanting to see more before pulling the trigger.

652. calkevin77 7:27 PM GMT on August 16, 2013

If it is circled it would probably come late unless we see explosive convection in the next 6 hours or so and that does not seem likely. But, you never know.

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Whats going on in the tropics.
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My Texas prediction is feeling better now
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Gonna start a petition to get Pensacola's named changed to Seattle!
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Quoting 645. islander101010:
92 is getting close to td status again

No it's not.
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Quoting 642. calkevin77:


I'm with you on that and its the hope that's exciting. Never in a million years would I have thought so many folks would want a tropical storm to soak them until the last four years or so came to be. I gotta be honest, I love being a volunteer firefighter but dealing with extremely low fuel moisture and a seemingly never ending wildfire season starts to take its toll. Lets just say you learn to be a very efficient ditch digger but there comes a point where you just need mother nature to cooperate.

Hopefully you, and all of Texas, get that much needed rain.
Also, love firefighting too, plan to become one myself. Already starting up with an explorer program.


Quoting 641. MississippiWx:
Might be a thunderstorm or two attempting to fire on the NE side of the center.


That's a better organized circulation than I remember seeing last night... :/
I hate when I am busy for a while and stuff in the tropics change.
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Quoting 645. islander101010:
92 is getting close to td status again

No it's not.
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655. Relix
Quoting 647. kmanislander:
The circulation is looking better and better with this feature but it does need some deep convection to really get going. This time yesterday the circulation was devoid of any cloud cover to speak of so it has improved some in the past 24 hours but apparently not enough to warrant the NHC circling it yellow at 10 or 20%. That may change later today or this evening.



Don't worry Kman, I got your back with this wave :P
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Quoting 650. Grothar:


Here's hoping you get soaked.



Thank you kind sir.
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Hi Guys, Models sure are favoring Texas getting a bit of moisture!! Still Hoping!!!
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Quoting 647. kmanislander:
The circulation is looking better and better with this feature but it does need some deep convection to really get going. This time yesterday the circulation was devoid of any cloud cover to speak of so it has improved some in the past 24 hours but apparently not enough to warrant the NHC circling it yellow at 10 or 20%. That may change later today or this evening.



I'm curious about a surface map for this area. On the vis it does look like something to keep an eye on and I think you're right about a yellow coming out. Possibly even this evening?
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Quoting 647. kmanislander:
The circulation is looking better and better with this feature but it does need some deep convection to really get going. This time yesterday the circulation was devoid of any cloud cover to speak of so it has improved some in the past 24 hours but apparently not enough to warrant the NHC circling it yellow at 10 or 20%. That may change later today or this evening.



With no models showing development the nhc probably feels a circle is not warranted. The air out ahead of it is fairly dry.
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Quoting 642. calkevin77:


I'm with you on that and its the hope that's exciting. Never in a million years would I have thought so many folks would want a tropical storm to soak them until the last four years or so came to be. I gotta be honest, I love being a volunteer firefighter but dealing with extremely low fuel moisture and a seemingly never ending wildfire season starts to take its toll. Lets just say you learn to be a very efficient ditch digger but there comes a point where you just need mother nature to cooperate.


Here's hoping you get soaked.

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Quoting 647. kmanislander:
The circulation is looking better and better with this feature but it does need some deep convection to really get going. This time yesterday the circulation was devoid of any cloud cover to speak of so it has improved some in the past 24 hours but apparently not enough to warrant the NHC circling it yellow at 10 or 20%. That may change later today or this evening.



Hi kman. I think it has to detach from ITCZ and to convection persist for them to start mention it and for wave to have a more decent chance.
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I can see why the models were perhaps seeing El nino..up here the local mets have compared the pattern/weather to that of a El nino years.Very wet springs/falls very cool air ect ect...This year in D.C (don't know about other areas) have been compared with 2004,2006,and 2009 which were all El nino years.Hmm but the signal says neutral in the pacific with a slight negative anomaly.
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The circulation is looking better and better with this feature but it does need some deep convection to really get going. This time yesterday the circulation was devoid of any cloud cover to speak of so it has improved some in the past 24 hours but apparently not enough to warrant the NHC circling it yellow at 10 or 20%. That may change later today or this evening.

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12z ECMWF has wave that shortly will emerge Africa thru 240 hours. Animation of run
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92 is getting close to td status again
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Da Bears!
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Vort kinda stacked on 92L, no?
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Quoting 632. TexasHurricane05:


I know what those models are suggesting (it coming to TX) but I think I am still in denial. I need more proof.
Hopefully we will get the rain we need though. Good luck on that second wish... lol


I'm with you on that and its the hope that's exciting. Never in a million years would I have thought so many folks would want a tropical storm to soak them until the last four years or so came to be. I gotta be honest, I love being a volunteer firefighter but dealing with extremely low fuel moisture and a seemingly never ending wildfire season starts to take its toll. Lets just say you learn to be a very efficient ditch digger but there comes a point where you just need mother nature to cooperate.
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Might be a thunderstorm or two attempting to fire on the NE side of the center.

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather